Danny Gravell: How solo operators can compete with the big corporates

 

Digital marketing used to be the realm of big business, but with new technology, apps and programs, even a sole operator can now compete with the big boys.

And while it can seem bewildering, getting started with digital marketing is actually quite simple. Here are a few techniques — some free, some paid — you can implement to help kick-start or upgrade your digital marketing strategy:

Understand your audience
Who are your customers? Are they heavy users of social media? If so, work out where they go and invest your time and energy into those platforms. Facebook is normally a good place to start, with 95 per cent of social media users on the platform according to Sensis research.

Get found on the internet
Given just about every customer of yours will be carrying a mobile phone and many of them use it as their primary means to access the internet, being found online is vitally important for increasing your business, whether that means having a website or social media presence — or both.

Google knows if a search is being done from a mobile device and will preference your website in its search rankings if it is ‘mobile first’, meaning it is designed to be effectively displayed on a smartphone. Optimise your site so search engines can rank you higher in search results.

Beat the competition to the punch
Many businesses face tough local competition in their service areas. This is where using paid advertising solutions will ensure your business stands out when potential customers are searching online. This can include using a paid service to help your Search Engine Optimisation (to ensure your business is ranked higher up in the search results), Search Engine Marketing (the ads you see at the top of the search results page) and Social  Advertising (ads on Facebook and Instagram to engage with social users).

Make it easy
Display Advertising refers to the ads that appear on websites with high traffic (such as news sites). This is one of the areas where technology has made a huge difference to small and medium businesses. New products, such as Sensis Digital Display, mean you can automate the design and creation of digital ads, and tailor them to your business.

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